2009 Hedge Fund Manager Compensation Sets Record
According to Absolute Return magazine, the top 25 hedge fund managers earned $25.3 billion in 2009, $3 billion more than the previous record set in 2007. Hedge fund managers typically get most of their income from an incentive fee (percentage of the funds returns) as well as gains on their personal investments in their funds. Strong overall equity markets in 2009 contributed to strong earnings for thousands of hedge fund managers, not just the top 25.
The top hedge fund manager in terms of 2009 compensation was David Tepper of Appaloosa Management who made large bets that the US govt. would not let large banks fail as well as a successful investment in AIG. Tepper's to-big-to-fail bet paid off in the amount of about $4 billion in total compensation. Behind Tepper in second place overall, was billionaire investor George Soros and his hedge fund Quantum Endowment. Soros made over $3 billion in investment gains and fees. Renaissance Technologies' James Simon was third on the 2009 Top Hedge Fund Earners List.